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Teacher's phones in class

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by 2r2e, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    Hello all,
    Just tidying safeguarding policy. Wondered if anyone can point me towards specific guidance/requirements about staff (personal) mobile phones around school?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    Should be something in your staff behaviour/code of conduct policy. Maybe also something in your e-safety policy? If you use model ones from Local Authority look at those. Ours has the following covered:

    Must have a security code on the mobile. Must be stored securely and not accessible to pupils.
    Phones can in no way be used to call, text, email or message pupils. Number must not be shared with pupils.
    Switched off/silent during work hours. Only accessed during authorised breaks. Urgent phone calls through the office.
    If workers need to use mobile telephones during working hours prior authorisation from line manager.
    Never used for photographing students ie on trips, sporting events etc.
  3. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    Thanks abacus1982. We have similar (not as complete, thank you, think we assume phone is locked, worth specifying) but just trying to confirm whether there is anything other than LA guidance or what that guidance is based on. It seems there's very strong feelings/presumptions/worries about phones (me included) in particular but little reference to tablets, smart watches, etc. A teacher in a corridor with a tablet feels very different to a teacher with a phone but the functionality is so similar now. A nagging irritation with the inconsistency of my/our attitudes or at policy without a compelling evidence base is beginning to bug me...
  4. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    Difficulty is technology moves on so quickly. Hadn't even thought of the smart watch thing even though I wear one myself which is synched up to my personal mobile!!
  5. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    It's a minefield!
  6. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    I'd apply same rule to tablet/laptop as phone. Don't use for work. No photo/video. Password protect.

    Really staff should not be using personal devices at all anymore.

    The real difficulty in my eyes is that I am quite a fan of tech. I have a good quality camera, HD camcorder and a Go Pro. A few years ago I used my HD camcorder to do some really good video editing with my class and we created a video prospectus for our website using it. I guess the shame now is that you can't do that sort of thing and school budgets are such that schools can't afford to purchase tech. Something like a Go Pro could be used really inventively to make videos during PE, on school trips and then video editing used.
    install likes this.
  7. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    I'm the same. Compromising on occasions with school SD cards in personal equipment.
  8. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    There are some GDPR implications with phones / tablets which require them to be locked / password / biometric protected at all times e.g. if they have school email access on them (and may needed to be extended to personal computing at home as well).

    Photos etc. is a tricky area - at my school we can use our phones to take photos but these must be uploaded to Google drive as soon as possible and then deleted from the device.
    sabrinakat, LadyPsyche and 2r2e like this.
  9. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    Thanks scienceguy. I think your school approach to phoos is a sensible one
  10. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    We're allowed to take photos on our phones but we immediately have to send them to Head/email them to be put on the server and then delete.

    As for phones around school, we're allowed to have them on us but should be on silent and not in use (aside from photos) during lessons. A school in our authority burned down a few years ago so we are advised to have important personal belongings (keys, phones, money) on our person at all times.
    2r2e likes this.
  11. install

    install Star commenter

    No data,pics or school details to be kept on personal phones is how some schools have this in their policies. If phones are being used signed agreements may be requested. And no personal phones allowed to be used in lessons unless agreed.

    Its best to keep it simple. By not allowing their use it saves alot of hassle in the long term too. :cool:
    2r2e likes this.
  12. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Our school has a no mobile phones policy for everyone. Staff have been issued with work tablets for convenient register taking, to avoid carrying papers to meetings etc.

    Staff do use their phones in staff room, but if seen with phones outside of the staff room they are pulled up by either middle leaders or senior leaders, as appropriate.

    I very rarely ever see phones in the school. Occasionally a child has headphones on, while claiming they don't have a phone, which is quickly corrected!

    Parents are notified that children are not allowed phones in the school. If they are found with phones they are confiscated and taken to school office, where parents can collect them at the end of the day. If there is a plausible reason why a child may need a phone in the day, it is kept in the school office and not by the child.
    2r2e and install like this.
  13. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    Thanks P1
  14. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    Thank you Flanks
  15. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    Thank you Install
    install likes this.
  16. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    And this isn't just a safeguarding policy issue, all the above advice applies equally to data security/GDPR policy so some cross-referencing between policies may be required.
    2r2e likes this.
  17. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Not a HT, but if you're going to ban phones on staff both inside and outside the classroom, except the staff room, it should be applicable to all.

    One memory that really burns me up from my last place is of a member of staff being screamed at in the staff room by the !PsychoHead for being on her phone. It was her PPA and she was checking to see if her own child, who had gone to school slightly unwell, had been in contact via her school.

    Reason this made me angry? The HT's little squadron/entourage of DHTs/AHTs, who all used to march around the school holding their own phones. Not school - their own. And weren't above Facebooking on it. Hypocritical AF.

    Phones should not be out in the classrooms or corridors - isn't that we are all supposed to tell the students? As for data protection, common sense - no personal data, no exchange of numbers with students, no school information or photos stored on it.
    lardylegs likes this.
  18. -LittleMiss-

    -LittleMiss- New commenter

  19. -LittleMiss-

    -LittleMiss- New commenter

    what if you had supply in for the day, they would need their phone in case a teacher from their childs school need to get in touch with them.
  20. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Possibility of child's school getting in touch - Isn't that the case with all teachers who have children? If you let supply, it starts an "rule for one, rule for the other."

    Not all teachers do have children though...

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